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2014 Baccalaureate Speeches

Daniel Roditi ’14

I know it is a bit too late to make a good impression but well; I’ll do my best.

So first of all I guess I have to say Congratulations. For being able to finally walk down the stairs of Old West, yes, but also for surviving 4 years in Carlisle.

This really says something about us on our resumes. “Adaptable”, “does not fear rain”, “will find basically anyplace really exciting”.

From Old West to The World.


Well being Swiss and living with 4 people representing 4 continents, I think it is safe to say that in my experience, the World came to Old West first.

From Geneva to Carlisle, why you ask? I myself don’t really know. Something about my cousin coming here, enjoying it, and then convincing me it was a good idea.
Remind me to thank him later.

When I saw this prompt a couple weeks ago I thought: “I don’t have a job, how am I going to tell people about going into the World? Well I guess I’ll just make something up”.

I now do have a job. Actually I don’t. Whatever.

So let me tell you what I will take to the World with me tomorrow, job or not.
I will take all of you guys, and girls, and transgenders, and even the ones that check “other” on the class evaluation.

I have shared with all of you some invaluable lessons in my life, I have experienced moments of World History with you all that I will never forget.

I was here, at Dickinson with you, when in 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia and by that act, started the Arab Spring.

I was here, at Dickinson with you, actually right there on Morgan field, when in 2011, Osama bin Laden was brought to justice.

I was here, at Dickinson with you, when in 2013 we all cried, together, for the victims of the Boston marathon bombing.

We have witnessed together one Presidential election, two papal conclaves, and an incalculable amount of acts of terror, and of acts of valor and humanity.

With you, some more than others, I cried, I laughed, I shared, and I learned.

With me to the World I will take the souvenir of a group of students that were never afraid to stand up for what they believed in. That were often lazy, sometimes obnoxious, but always willing to learn more.

After all it is exactly that, which we are taking into the World with us, our thirst for knowledge.

And this is precisely why you and I chose a liberal arts education. Because curiosity is the root of knowledge, and while I certainly do not want to become a geologist, I can tell you what kind of stone all of these buildings are made of. (Limestone joke)

I wouldn’t do my experience here any justice, were I to stand up here only touching upon our collective memories. We all have them, we all know we share them.

What I have come to realize throughout the process of writing this speech is that real education, such as the one we got here at Dickinson, is not only defined by our experiences here, but also, and mainly, by our experiences long after we’re gone.

Our graduation cannot be viewed as a culmination of achievement, but as a stepping-stone, as a springboard into bigger and better things.

I, am a business student. If you were to ask me a bit about my ambitions or my plans for the future, I would have a thousand responses for you. Entrepreneur, consultant, trader, analyst, you name it.
I think this reflects what Dickinson has meant for me, and probably for all of us.
We will not be content. We will not be satisfied.

The way things stand today, employment is not certain. For many, this is a terrifying prospect. But it has no need to be.

I don’t know where I’ll be going in a week. I don’t know what I am going to be hoping for in a month. I don’t know what I am going to be doing in a year. Am I afraid? No. I’m excited.

I’m excited because I have always believed that it is our curiosity, our thirst for knowledge, that enables us to dream big, and that reminds us, as Dickinson has taught us, that ambition is not a moment, ambition is a journey.

Four years ago, I arrived here as a nice Jewish boy, with no friends on this side of the ocean.

Four years ago, I got here with my family, my girlfriend, and my mind back home.

Four years later, I stand here before you as a proud Jew, with, a few friends on this side of the ocean.

Four years later, I stand here before you with my family, my girlfriend, and my mind back home.

See, not much has changed.

So what has changed?

For me at least, its my perspective.

I no longer view college as a requirement for employment. I have come to learn and to appreciate that there is a value to education.

That these four years have sincerely meant so much to me, that I have formed memories, learned lessons, and made friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.

And I know that this is a sentiment shared by everyone in caps and gowns here today.

It is in the nature of major milestones to be both bitter and sweet. Today is no exception.

This weekend will see its fair share of tears and of goodbyes, of roaring laughter and of our final stroll down memory lane.

But we all know there is more to it than that. This weekend represents our anticipation. Our anxiety for what comes next.

But what comes next is more memories to form, more lessons to learn, and more friendships to make.

I know it is a bit too late to make a good impression but well; I tried my best.

Thank you.